Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Giving Up

Today I hated teaching. Maybe that's exaggerating. I was exasperated. Frustrated. I had enough. Enough of whining. Enough of repeating myself. Enough of having expectations completely disregarded. Enough of coming early. Enough of bossing kids around. I went to school for five years to learn how to teach. And what is it that I really do? I tell kids to sit in their place. I ask them to listen while someone else is talking. I ask them to keep their hands off each other. And I don't just do this a couple times a day. This is my job all day long. The entire day. What kind of teaching or learning is that? None at all. So maybe what I detest isn't teaching.

I played music for a little bit today - an hour. Not near enough. I was booted out of my little music haven by another soul who needed some time to play. And during this time, I realized that it's not about teaching at all. It's about my life. It's about why I get up. Why do I get up? Is it to love people? Some days, yes. I do what I can to be present and to soak up and give out everything I have to nearly 500 kids who need so much. But today I had nothing to give. You know... I just want something good. That's all. And this has got to seem so selfish. I know I have an incredible job at an incredible school with incredible people and incredible kids. I live in an incredible house that I couldn't give two shits about. I own an incredible house that I couldn't give two shits about.

So here's what it comes down to. I am not guaranteed anything good. There is absolutely no assurance that anything good is ever going to come my way. So it's up to me to make what I have as beautiful as I want it to be. But no matter how hard I try, it's never adequate. I have had periods of my life that I have really dug into things that made me happy - climbing, reading, writing, music. And I have repeatedly sacrificed for the people I love. But none of it really matters in the end. All of this, I've done to make my moments happy and to make other people enjoy their sweet minutes. Has it worked? Momentarily. But it's always shattered at some point.

So today I resolve to give up completely. To fail in every area I could possibly fail in. To let go of relationships. To disregard any expectation that has been made of me - in work, in finances. I resolve to fail. I just need to feel it completely. To dig around and feel all the tremendous failure well up inside and spill out and to fully drown in it.

I've never felt this. Not for one second in all my life.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It Will Be Beautiful

I never realized how wonderful it is to be around people who have a solid relationship. People who rely in a healthy way on each other. Who communicate. Who love. Who give. It fills me up. These people adore each other and every now and then, you might catch some evidence of this. A smile between the two of them. A little moment in their day where they reach out in some visible way to show the other person their love.

There are a few relationships that thrill me like this. Certain friends of mine have these beautiful, awe-inspiring relationships. So beautiful. Not everyone, though. Some people in my life are married and just kind of live the day. Not necessarily being intentional about valuing that other person.... letting it go unsaid and perhaps unfelt.

But it is so encouraging to see. And I wonder if I've ever been in that position in my life. I think I have. Rob and I had a relationship like that at one point. But we slipped into the unintentional floating-through-life syndrome. I never want to slip into that again. I have hope. I know that one day, I will be settled in a balanced relationship with my best friend and our relationship will be so good and so balanced that it will be evident to the people around us. Not to say that anything will be perfect. But it will be beautiful.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Harley Has Ripe Gas

Dear Harley,

I am glad you are living with me. You are precious and you needed some love. So I am happy to fill that need. You needed me to brush you and to keep you healthy with good food and a bit of medication. You needed me to take you on walks. And to love you. To pet you when you come near and to wrestle you around a bit.

But you farted today more than once. In fact, you made my friends move from one place to another at least three times. I was just online and you decided to lay next to me. I can't really smell it that much, but I sense that there is a stench in the air. What the heck? Why don't you do a cleanse? Your gas is rank.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Curious Mr. PigNose

I noticed you today, Mr. PigNose. You were driving the car behind me. The tip of your nose is higher than the septum... I think that's the right word... you know - where your nose connects above your lip. You don't have a big fat piggy nose. You have a slender piggy nose and defined cheekbones. And you totally grossed me out today. You were snacking. You were munching on some sort of snack item. And chewing with your mouth open. And licking your fingers and smacking.

I was so morbidly curious that I kept watching you. And you didn't stop. You were ravenous. You kept reaching in for more. Smacking and licking. My stomach began to turn and still I didn't look away. I fixed my peripheral vision on the car in front of me so I could make a quick getaway as soon as the light turned green. But while the light was red, I was your very own personal captive audience. You disgusted me.

You had a wedding ring, I think. I wonder if your wife notices this about you. Does it disgust her, too? Has she hid her disdain for years? I am curious as to whether she has thought to mention it to you. Or perhaps she's let it boil in her veins for years and perhaps she is considering some counseling. I wonder if your children have slender piggy noses and terrible snacking manners as well. Who is your mother? Didn't she advise you to chew with your mouth shut? Especially considering the shape of your ugly pig nose?

I daydreamed about putting my car into park and running back to your car and throwing open your door and grabbing your snacks and shoving them into my mouth as crumbs fell to the asphalt below and smacking and causing the snacks to become cheesy saliva mush as I laughed uproariously amidst Saturday afternoon traffic.

Green light. Goodbye Mr. PigNose.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Punch in the Head

Yesterday shook my confidence. I had enjoyed a number of small successes riding motorcycles up until yesterday. My confidence grew as I learned to get the bike in motion, to shift, to make easy turns. Well yesterday, three major bumps in the road for my assurance... Not really three major bumps. How about two minor bumps and one punch in the head? So, I stalled the bike twice riding to work. In the middle of traffic. Not too fun... especially on a bike that won't start easily. But, again, I kind of enjoy that about the bike. Later in the day, I was on my way home to let the dogs out. And I ran out of gas. Nice. Smooth. But some kind gentlemen helped me out and I was quickly on my way again. So, about the punch in the head... let's just say it involved gravity and the hundreds of pounds of bike versus 120-lb me. Yeah. Super.

Well, the choice was mine - to let the bike and myself rest today. Or to hop on and charge out into the sunshine. Today is gorgeous, by the way. So, I drove back up beautiful winding Gleneagle Drive to school and I practiced turns in the parking lot for about 1/2 hour. I could barely make a full turn in that huge wide parking lot. But as I continued, I got my turns down to half the width. I don't know how people do full figure eights in two adjacent parking spaces. That's crazy.

But I'm getting better at turning. At remembering to shut off my turn signal. At coming to a stop. At putting the bike in motion. I rode the curves down Gleneagle a little faster this time. Things are coming along. I'm not about to give up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sushi and Sunshine and... Motorbikes?

So, sushi and sunshine make me incredibly happy. On a dark day when things are rushed and uncomfortable, one of these things is surely the cure to settle me back into normalcy. Now, there are a few other things that can do this, too. Climbing is one of them. Being around a good friend is another. And soon I might be adding something new.

I rode my new motorcycle to work today. It was cold... 31 degrees to be exact. But it is a short ride to work. I accelerated onto a busy road and then made another turn onto an even busier road. The conditions were really nice and I was able to get so much more confident on the bike... learning to lean into the turns and to shift comfortably. The cold air was wonderful. And I felt great getting off that bike... knowing that I can do anything that I want to do. It seemed too complicated at first, and not worth the effort. But I am so psyched that I learned how. It's been so much fun even just tooling around the neighborhood. I'm invigorated and really happy that I can do it. It sounds stupid, maybe. But we mentally block ourselves from reaching out and trying new things. We persuade ourselves that it's not worth the effort or that it's too hard. Or that only a certain type of people do that thing... not people like us.

I also like that it takes some tricks to get the bike started. It's not easy. You've got to be patient and try a few things. I've got to let it warm up and rev it a bit. It's not just an easy thing like jumping into a car and popping it into drive. I've got to think about it and to stay on top of it or I won't be successful. I love that.

So, today was a good day. There is alot for me to learn about bikes, but I'm completely psyched about this. It keeps my eyes bright.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gross and Stupid David Caruso

Dear David Caruso,

I watched your show today. I don't even know the name of it. I got home late and fixed a super fast dinner and just sat down to chill for a minute, so I figured, 'What's the harm of watching this show. I know... I really hate you, David Caruso. But it's only a minute or two.' A few years ago when I was addicted to television, I used to watch your show all the time. And when I did, I remembered thinking, 'Wow. David Caruso really sucks as an actor. Either that, or his characters are all written real shitty. Either that or the writers are COMPELLED to write really shitty characters for him because he can't do anything but crappy suck acting.'

So, anyway... benefit of the doubt... I watch your show. You were in a holding room with someone you had arrested for MURDER. And you said, "We apprehended Carlos Agaba today." And she said, "So, are you going to let me go?" WHY DID YOU SAY IT LIKE THAT, DAVID CARUSO? You suck so bad. Could you possibly have any other expression on your face? Could you vary your vocal inflection at all from its present monotony? You are terrible. And all the other actors on your show are good actors. Why do you suck so bad? And do you think you are really good? Your characters seem pompous and arrogant, so I believe that you also are pompous and arrogant. Maybe you aren't! Maybe you are a really nice person and the fact that you can make yourself seem otherwise is proof that you are a good actor. But I don't believe it for a second. I think you suck. And when I talk to people in my daily life who have such a blank expression and irritating way of talking like you do, I walk away from them. And when I walk away from them, I think... 'God, I'm glad I'm not talking to them anymore. I wanted to kick that person in the head.'

Please do not watch this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sarYH0z948

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I sat down to write just now. And there's alot that is swirling around in my thoughts. Not really anything of consequence. I am excited. I am anxious. For different reasons. And I've got a mess of a kitchen downstairs that I would LOVE to procrastinate on right about now.

So, two weeks ago I moved into this gorgeous house. This big, beautiful, lovely and painfully lonely house. I wasn't nearly as lonely in the last house. Maybe it had to do with memories of people I had shared it with... Robert, Heidi, Kristal, and Kim. It never seemed lonely. Here, my neighborhood is wonderful. I've got kids all around me. Wonderful families that really care about each other. But inside this big, seemingly empty house is space and air and quiet. I need a roommate. I would really like two. So hopefully in a few weeks, my blogs will be about roommate quirks. Whatever they are will be better than this sad quiet.

Maybe to combat the loneliness... maybe to provide a playmate for my baby dog... or maybe to maintain another connection to Max, I took in his sweet dog, Harley. He is a mess. He is matted and a bit needy. He's a wonderful dog. Affectionate and obedient. But he doesn't really like Wyatt all that much yet. I wonder if they will develop a bond. He seems so old for his five years. Maybe a little attention, some good food, and a haircut will do the trick.

I rode my beautiful KZ today. I love it. Now, when I say I rode it, I mean to say that I took it around the block. Not really much of a ride. But exciting enough for me. I really have never thought much of motorcycles. But this summer when Max asked if I wanted to learn, I didn't object. The second I let off the clutch and gave it some gas, I felt that beautiful rush of freedom and it's got me hooked. I can start it, stop it, and shift gears up and down, but that's about it. I can't wait until I've got enough confidence to go riding with Max. It will be so much fun!

Max leaves tomorrow for California. I am just beginning the task of taking him out of my thoughts bit by bit. Not totally. But I have got to get some emotional distance. So in the next few weeks I'll have to wrestle myself away from the phone when he calls. It's kind of like starting to eat vegetables when you aren't used to it. You have to force yourself to do something because you know, in the end, it will be better for you. Our relationship is so wonderful. I really love it. But it's also been creating a heavy heart. So I need to shake it.

Anyway, I got to meet little Noah Boll today. My dear friend, Jenn, has had her first baby. He's so wonderful. It's amazing to see a woman become a mother. What used to be so very important to her now takes a back seat to loving and providing for her baby. It's a precious thing. Anyway... I suppose I should get going on that disgusting kitchen downstairs. Or I could sink down into a tub of bubbles... that sounds wonderful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Need Time Space Silence

My mind is not right. I have handled myself very well since my divorce. I've mostly done the right thing. But I have felt pushed and pulled these recent days and it's left me ripped open. At least that's how I feel today. I need boundaries. I can't be pushed and pulled any longer, so what I really need to do is clear my thoughts and create some distance from the situation. Some emotional distance? My dear friend and I share the most deep and communicative intimacy. It is like none I've ever had. And this intimacy is a deep friendship... so deep that it's blurs the lines of friendship. We have an odd relationship. It's not bad. It's different. And I've intentionally prevented expectations from creeping into the middle of it all, however, my emotions are so heavy in the midst of it all. I am so intensely in love with him. And the timing is so intensely wrong. So what do I do? I can push back that love and stifle it so that I'm not living an authentic life. I can let it grow. I can let it die away. Or I can get a little healthy distance.

Healthy distance. Time. Space. Silence.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Some Men Are Very Stupid

Exhibit A: Long-haired professional football players... you don't look good. Whoever told you that you did look good was lying and has fooled you into believing something terrible. Cut your hair.

Exhibit B: The dude who thinks he is so good looking that any girl would fall over themselves just to talk to him. Guess what... it takes more than that. And don't throw the "I'm a bigwig in the military" or "I ski". Girls don't care. Let me rephrase that. Any woman who has handled adversity in her life with dignity will not fall for that. She will see right through you and recognize what a giant tool you are.

Exhibit C: The dudes who lie about themselves. You are 23. All your stories about the jobs you'ved worked and the high-profile experiences you have had are either all lies or exaggerated and you know it. And so do I. I would rather sit down with a total numbskull that is real about himself and his interests and presents himself truthfully than with you.

Exhibit D: The mullet. Seriously? What are you trying to convey?

Exhibit E: The man who ate my lunch out of the refrigerator today. You are going to suffer.

Exhibit F: All the men who have wanted to come talk to my friend, Sarah, because she is beautiful, but haven't because they are intimidated. Get over it. Talk to her. You are making her feel bad.

Exhibit G: You oogling married men. Go home to your wives. And love them. And tell them how outrageously sexy they are and how glad you are that you are their husband.